University News

Faculty, Student Research to be Presented at National Conference

September 26, 2014

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – Collaborative research between Western Illinois University students and faculty is the basis for many academic relationships. In the case of WIU Professor of psychology Robert Intrieri and WIU senior psychology major Giavanna S. McCall, of Chicago, IL, dramatic results were produced when they partnered to conduct gerontological research.

For the past three semesters, Intrieri and McCall have conducted gerontological research on the perceptions of older people by college students, using a variety of scales to assess knowledge and attitudes toward older adults. So far, interviews have been conducted with 174 undergraduate WIU students to develop the research.

Intrieri and McCall are presenting their research at the Gerontological Society of America's annual convention Saturday, Nov. 8 in Washington, DC.

"As an undergraduate, to get this kind of exposure is amazing," said McCall. "It's unbelievable what you can learn from your professors and the connections they have. Professor Intrieri has been my mentor and has helped me become competitive for graduate school with my research experience."

McCall said she would like to move on to graduate school and to someday teach. She said her time at Western has been beneficial to prepare her to move on with her education.

"Western has been the perfect school to come to; the professor to student ratio is great – the professors are always willing to help," she said.

McCall said her research and making presentations about the results have helped "bring me out of my shell." She previously presented two of her research papers at an undergraduate psychological research conference last April.

"I was impressed with her writing skills, extremely strong work ethic and ability to handle complex theoretical and research information with assurance in a clear and concise manner," said Intrieri.

McCall also works with a WIU research team Intrieri co-chairs with Associate Professor Paige Goodwin.

"Giavanna has assisted us in the development and execution of several research projects," Intrieri said. "Giavanna has done quite well in the psychology curriculum and demonstrated exceptionally strong performances in the most difficult classes – courses that will prepare her well for graduate study in psychology, gerontology and cognitive neuroscience."

For more information about WIU's Department of Psychology, visit

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Communications & Marketing